ISLAMABAD: Former ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani agreed on Wednesday to waive privacy rights to his BlackBerry handsets allegedly used for communicating the controversial memorandum seeking American help to pre-empt a military coup in Pakistan.
In an application submitted through his counsel Sajid Tanoli to the commission investigating the memo scandal, Mr Haqqani said: “I submit herewith the letter of consent waiving my privacy rights with respect to data from my BlackBerry handsets in compliance with the commission’s orders.”
He said he had no objection if the commission used the PIN numbers provided by any other party claiming to have knowledge of “PIN numbers of my misplaced handsets”.
The former ambassador also submitted telephone bills for 2011 received from AT&T for his two cellphone numbers — 202-270-2570 and 617-953-2835.
He alleged that the commission had been set up by the Supreme Court in an environment of orchestrated hostility towards him in the national media and a false perception that an imminent threat to national security had been created by the memo sent by American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, main character in the scandal, to the US government in May 2011.
“As a sign of my respect for Pakistan’s superior judiciary, I filed a review petition in the Supreme Court and appeared in person before the commission on Jan 9, 2012, where I made it clear that I had no role, knowledge of the origins, purpose and authenticity of the disputed memo,” he added.
Mr Haqqani said the commission had on Feb 9 allowed the American businessman to record his statement via video link because of his concerns, while “my concerns about my personal security as a Pakistani citizen must be taken at least as seriously as threats to the person of the other witness — a foreign national — for whom the commission adjourned its proceedings for several weeks”.
The application said the former ambassador went to London to facilitate cross-examination of Mr Ijaz, but the commission did not accept Mr Hqqani’s request for recording of his testimony via video link from the same place. The commission, it added, had refused the request by saying that its hands were tied by the Supreme Court, which made it all the more necessary to wait for the outcome of a court decision on his application seeking permission for recording his testimony through video link.
“Statements of Mr Ijaz and ISI’s former director general Ahmed Shuja Pasha have made it clear that the media hysteria and fears about the national security that led to the creation of the memo commission are unjustified,” the application said.
Mr Haqqani requested the commission to adjourn its proceedings till a final decision on his application by the Supreme Court, adding that his counsel Asma Jahangir would return to Pakistan on April 16 and the apex court would fix its hearing on April 17.
IJAZ PLEA: Mr Ijaz also submitted an application requesting the commission to suspend the right of audience and representation of Mr Haqqani because of his “wilful disobedience”.
The application, filed by his counsel Mohammad Akram Sheikh, said if the commission’s order was disobeyed or not complied with it had a right to refuse to hear the party concerned.
It alleged that Mr Haqqani had neither raised any grievance against the commission’s orders nor filed an application for the review. The former ambassador, it said, continued to enjoy the benefit of representation and exercised his right to cross-examine the witnesses in spite of deliberately ignoring and defying the commission’s orders. “He (Mr Haqqani) is thus in continuous disobedience of the orders of this honourable commission,” it added.
The application accused Mr Haqqani of impeding the course of justice and said he should have no right of representation and audience until he purged himself of the disobedience of the orders of the commission.
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